Joint Master of Arts in Public History and Library & Information Science

Do you plan to work in a library or archives and want to create exhibits, digital projects or work with community partners? Are you aiming to build a career in collections management at a museum, historical society or government agency? The MAPH/MLIS may be the right degree for you!

Students in the joint degree program earn both a Master of Arts in Public History (M.A.P.H.) and a Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) from Wayne State's School of Information Science (SIS). Wayne State's M.L.I.S. program is fully accredited by the American Library Association, which means graduates of our joint degree program are certified to work in secondary school, public, private, and academic libraries. Wayne State offers the only joint MAPH/MLIS in Michigan and is one of only a few such programs in the country.

The joint degree program combines intellectual rigor with convenience and flexibility. All M.L.I.S. courses are offered online, and public history courses are offered both at our campus in the heart of Detroit's cultural center and online. (Please note, the MAPH/MLIS cannot be earned entirely online and prospective students should expect to complete some courses in person. Applicants wishing to earn an entirely online degree should instead consider the MA/MLIS.)

Students interested in the archival field may elect to complete a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration, which requires two additional courses beyond those taken for the joint degree. Students interested in the administration of libraries or historical agencies may elect to complete a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, which requires one course beyond those taken for the joint degree.


Students in the joint MAPH/MLIS program complete 55 credits of coursework, rather than the 69 credits required to complete each degree separately. Students choose one of two paths to the M.A.P.H. degree:

Path one: Develop an individualized topical or professional specialization, in consultation with the advisor, consisting of three relevant courses (9 to 12 credits).

Path two: Concurrently earn one of the following graduate certificates relevant to public history careers: Nonprofit Management (three additional credits), Archival Administration (six additional credits), or Museum Practice (three additional credits).

The joint MA/MLIS carries tremendous savings in terms of time and cost, allowing students to earn both degrees in three years of full-time study.

View full requirements


See history graduate admissions for more information.

Laura Kennedy, library technician, Michigan Reformatory, MAPH/MLIS, 2019

The ability to complete two master’s degrees in three years was what drew me to Wayne State University.

The support from the faculty and staff in both the Department of History and the School of Information Sciences was outstanding and made navigating the process virtually painless. My M.L.I.S. focus is in archival administration and being able to actually use and work in several archives for research through my public history degree definitely enhanced my education.

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.

Contact 💬

Karen Marrero, history graduate director